Networking 101: We Spill The Beans On How To Network Your Way Into Any Job. It’s Finally Live!

Remember this post, where we agreed to record a live discussion answering your networking questions?

It’s finished. I think you’ll agree it was more than worth the wait.

You can download the audio clip right here:

Now it’s not short at 44 minutes. And we only got through about half of your reader questions through comments and emails. This means that there will be a part two – so stay tuned for that as well.

Put it into your iPod as you’re going for a run. Burn it onto a CD and listen as you’re driving to work. We divulge A TON of tips on how to become a master networker – and it’s not just useless crap like “Be more aggressive”.

We really talk specifics, from the steps you take in turning a cold call into a warm call, to dealing with awkward/unhelpful alumni. The list goes on!

For people who prefer text, here’s the PDF – in its 19 pages of glory:

And for the short-attention span people out there, here are The 10 Takeaways You Shouldn’t Miss From Our Networking Seminar:

  1. For those in school, attend every event possible. Network properly while there! Don’t be lazy or you’ll be the one regretting it when you’re out of a job. Outside of school, join professional associations, networking groups, attend conferences, etc. Keep your eyes open for the next opportunity. And don’t overlook friends and family!
  2. Be straightforward when establishing contact with consultants/bankers that you don’t know. Incrementally build the relationship through multiple communications, and have them refer you to others – thereby warming the start of that new relationship!
  3. Even if someone’s been laid off, they can still be helpful. Be sensitive to the situation, direct in your interest, and tune your communication according to how well you know the person.
  4. Only contact senior consultants/bankers when you have a legitimate reason. Only after a long time passes without contact should you reach out with a superficial reason
  5. With cold calls, follow KISS: keep it simple, stupid. Immediately let them know how you got their number, the reason for calling, and one or two sentences about your background. Ask for referrals…and ask open-ended questions to contacts who are trying to brush you off
  6. With cold calls, focus on boutiques. You probably won’t cold-call your way into Goldman Sachs (but I’m sure it’s happened before!). As an exit option, you can always ask to followup at a later time or via email
  7. Always speak to bankers/consultants, not recruiters, to get things done. If you’re getting lukewarm responses, know when to drop things and move on to your next lead
  8. The best conversations you can have with bankers and consultants is just that: a real conversation. Not 50 questions about their job, not 100 questions about the strategy consulting industry. Talk about their lives, their hobbies, and chit-chat like you would a friend.
  9. Give people a reason to help you out. Avoid directly asking for referrals, etc – but if you let them know that you’re interested or that you already applied, the ones who want to help you out will proactively do so. Only use a direct-ask with a strong relationship as a last resort
  10. Mentors can come from anywhere – managing partners, directors on down to analyst and interns. When you find them, make their life easy. Reach out in specific areas where you need help. Find common ground that you can talk about.

Here are the topics and questions we cover:

Finding Names and Contact Info

“How about for people who do not know consultants or even finance people? How do you build those names and meet those people in the first place?”

“How would you approach making contact with complete strangers at different firms that you are interested in?”

Recession Recruiting

“What is the next best step for recruiting in a firm when your only contact within the firm found out you will be laid off before you are ready to utilize him to break into the company?”

“Do you have any tips on getting in touch with former senior colleagues?”

Click here for more on recession recruiting

Turning Cold Calls Into Warm Calls

“I was wondering what the dos and don’ts for cold calling are in general? On the outline it appears to have great potential. Most of my colleagues however discard cold calling outright. Is it a strategy you would recommend?”

Following-up With Your Business Contacts

“If you’ve done a lot of cold calling with several different firms, this guy was wondering, well, how do you exactly followup after the initial call?”

“How would you approach this and how would you move on to the next firm?”

“Is there any way to keep in touch with senior partners even if you don’t have a reason why to followup and instead you just want to keep in contact?”

“Also if you could please talk about how can they followup after an MD or analyst showed interest in their resume?”

“Over time, as you contact alumni, the numbers will accumulate. How would one go about maintaining these contacts before recruiting season and then when the time comes, how do you make the ask?”

“After meeting someone whom I would like to network with at a networking event, what is the appropriate followup? What is a good way to keep in touch?”

“When the time comes, how do you make the ask for opportunities to interview?”

Awkward Alumni

“I contacted some alumni in the past with a phone conversations that eventually became Q&A, it felt very awkward and a little bit dry. If you had mentees contacting you in the past, how would you suggest making the conversation more interesting, getting to know them personally and even establishing a friendship. What kind of mentees are mentors looking for and what’s their incentive as a mentor for sharing information with someone who they don’t know?”

Whew. You guys were definitely curious, and we had a great time recording the discussion.

What did you think? Any questions or comments after listening to/reading the discussion?

Filed Under: consulting jobs